The Key Stage 3 curriculum at Kingdown School is designed to be stimulating, exciting, challenging and inclusive to the needs of all learners. We believe very strongly in an ‘entitlement curriculum’ across Years 7 and 8, which means that all students will experience the full diversity of our curriculum in the early years of secondary school.

Across Years 7 and 8, the overriding aim is to equip learners with the key skills to be successful – both later in school, and then for later life.

We therefore have a key focus on:

  • Literacy across the curriculum. Literacy permeates all subject areas, and the key aspects of good literacy are regularly reinforced in subjects as diverse as Art and PE.
  • Numeracy in its many forms. Outside of maths, students are often exposed to aspects of numeracy in, for example, Science, Geography and Design.

Curriculum Design

The curriculum in Years 7 and 8 offers the following subjects:

  • Art
  • Computing and ICT
  • Design – Food, Graphics, Product Design and Textiles
  • Drama
  • English
  • French
  • Geography
  • History
  • Learning to Learn (Y7)
  • Maths
  • Music
  • PSHE (Y8) – Personal, Social and Health Education
  • PE
  • Religious Studies
  • Science

Options in Key Stage 3

By the end of Year 8, students are offered a number of options for their Year 9 curriculum. This process has two aims:

  • To enable students to begin to specialise in areas of the curriculum they particularly enjoy, or are particularly successful in.
  • To provide a ‘practice run’ at the GCSE options process, which takes place towards the end of Year 9.

Students are able to make choices in the Creative Arts, Design, and the Humanities.

Students who change their mind as they move through Year 9 will be supported to transfer their options to a more appropriate choice. We are all allowed to make mistakes!

In mid-Year 9, students begin the curriculum choices process for GCSE. This allows students to select up to four subjects to study to GCSE level, from a choice of around 20 subjects. Further details can be found on the website ‘Year 9 Options’ page.

Assessment in Key Stage 3

We are very proud of the assessment system we have developed at Kingdown. It is based on the principle of ‘Trajectories’; assessments link together to provide forward-estimates of potential GCSE performance. The grades are referred to as T-grades – you will hear your son or daughter referring to these grades on a regular basis.

Assessments may include in-class tests, formal tasks or homework activities. We also hold a formal Exam Week for each year group, which takes place early in Term 6. Most subjects use the outcome of the end of year assessment to form their final in-year trajectory grade; this is then used to inform setting arrangements for the beginning of the following year.

Who to contact

If you have any questions about Key Stage 3, please contact:

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